Must be a weekday
Folks, sometimes it’s worth taking a breather before jumping into a controversy. So now: A shorthand on the latest Trump indictment.
1. Anytime you see “Attempt” and “Conspiracy” dominate an indictment heading, beware. Understand that in both instances, the crime didn’t occur — it was merely planned. And 45 pages of Attempts and Conspiracies….
Now, that doesn’t mean they aren’t crimes. But it puts us in much more malleable territory. The facts have to show intent — not completion. Squishy stuff. Which brings us to…
2. Knowledge. This is the big hurdle for Smith here. He has to show that Trump knew he lost — but kept going with this conspiracy. Meaning: the prosecution needs to delve the mind of Donald Trump. That is… uncharted terrain.
But let’s not lose sight of a bedrock legal principle: “conscious avoidance.” That is to say: at some point, if you can demonstrate that Trump simply would not face the facts, willful blindness can stand in for “knowledge.”
Use of conscious avoidance would come in at the charging of the jury — the judge would have to instruct them on this. And this judge, from all reports, would be happy to do so.
3. The indictment is well-written — constructs a narrative, has a lot of facts, etc. But it has an air of — for lack of a better word — petulance. Even pettiness. All these citations to Trump’s tweets, etc…. I don’t believe they stand up to First Amendment challenge. It’s all couched in a lot of constitutional process, but in the end it feels cheap and vindictive.
However, there is an area I believe Team Trump could have trouble: let’s call it “The Elector Plan, Part B.”
According to the document, post-Election Day, Trump and his co-conspirators planned to use Republican-aligned electors in the battleground states to vote with him, if Trump prevailed in recounts there.
That, I believe, is both legally and logically defensible. If Trump won the state on a recount, then presenting alternate elector votes is only fair and logical.
But then came Plan B: At some point — likely when they started losing recounts — the plan became to pressure the electors to do that, even if the recounts showed Trump lost (this starts at bullet 62 of the document).
The document even alleges that some of the electors themselves were deceived into going along with this, believing their vote would only be used if Trump won a recount.
And this is the most substantive — perhaps the only substantive — part of the indictment, in my eyes. Because at this point, you’ve had the recounts, and Trump has lost — and the language of his advisors (bullet 63) clearly demonstrates that they know it (they literally use the word, “illegal”).
The indictment then closes the loop on this in bullet 69 — stating that the failure of Elector Plan B has been put “in front of” the President.
Did he read it? Believe it? And what were his lawyers telling him?
Who knows. I am not saying this is a valid charge at this point.
But what I am saying is: these are acts — knowing acts — and not thoughts or statements (in bullet 67, the electors mail the fraudulent ballots to the Senate).
And by morphing into a plan to execute all this even if they lost the recount… “conscious avoidance” could be on the table.
Team Trump will obviously have their version of these facts — remember that an indictment is only the government’s side of things.
But accepting the above: should such a case even have been brought?
If we answer “yes” to this, it unavoidably imports a tremendous amount of “what-about-ism” — and here, that’s perfectly valid.
By these standards, Hillary Clinton’s refusal to stand by the 2016 election results, and the (to me) undeniable conspiracy of Crossfire Hurricane that originated with the dossier she commissioned, should put her, Adam Schiff, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, etc, all in the same boat as Donald Trump.
The same applies to the 51 intel geniuses who signed the infamous letter regarding Hunter’s laptop. Recall that the FBI had the laptop for a year at that point — a true readout on its authenticity was obtainable (if that is not conscious avoidance, what is?).
Never mind the ongoing imbroglio with the Hunter and Joe Show. A five year investigation for two tax misdemeanors and a gun diversion? A plea deal that absolves the defendant of crimes known and unknown?
All this opens the door to endless appeals, media debates, and even a potential Malicious Prosecution suit from Team Trump. The double-standard is that blatant.
I am not Donald Trump’s lawyer — I dislike being cast in the role of his advocate, as I feel he made real mistakes post-Election Day (even he seems to know that).
But this is why Trump supporters will vote for him, even if they know he did everything in the indictment. The media-government complex has become so weighted against them, they feel that only Donald Trump — however flawed — is capable of taking it on. And they may well be right.
(P.S: Democrats, be careful what you wish for. Not only are Trump’s poll numbers rising thanks to all your nonsense, but the discovery in this case is going to turn over a lot of your rocks, too. The charges are broad and vague).
A Key Witness Against Hunter? Ho Ho Ho…!
Anyone here remember a man named Patrick Ho? Didn’t think so.
Mr. Ho was the Communist Party’s point man in the CEFC Chinese oil deal with Hunter. It was Ho’s job to fly around the world seeking to extend the Chinese oil conglomerate’s global interests — and influence.
In 2019 — with the Hunter “investigation” underway in David Weiss’s Delaware DOJ office — Patrick Ho was convicted by DOJ for attempting to bribe government officials in Chad and Uganda.
Now folks, consider this. Ho gets charged by DOJ with trying to bribe foreign government officials — in oil deals. All while he had been engaging with the son of the U.S. Vice President on… oil deals.
Again: while that son has an open DOJ case on him.
Why ON EARTH wasn’t Ho flipped against Hunter?
Especially when Hunter (and his Uncle James Biden) apparently came up on Patrick Ho’s wiretaps?
Was Ho even put into a grand jury? Offered immunity?
Was any of the Ho wire material used in the Hunter case?
Instead, Ho — who Hunter once called, “the f—ing spy chief of China” — was jailed, in March 2019, on a sentence of three years.
In the federal system, the general rule is that a convict will do 85% of his sentence. Yet somehow, Ho was released from U.S. custody in June of 2020, after doing only about a year — and sent back to Hong Kong.
And only the South China Morning Post seems to have reported on this release (I am apparently #2).
So a potential key witness against — indeed, a potential co-conspirator of — Hunter Biden was released early from jail and sent back to his home country… while Hunter was under active investigation.
Has anyone even asked DOJ how this could happen?
The Death of New York (Part 874)
If you haven’t seen this clip… you should. Nothing sums up the arbitrary state of street life in New York these days as we hurtle towards San Francisco status. Misdemeanors, no jail, no consequences… no deterrence.
Meanwhile, a trusted source alerts us to this: according to The New York Times — you know, the paper-of-record — as of 2019, New York City had 90,000 packages a day stolen (you read that right) (and it’s likely worse now, with more online ordering).
90,000-a-day. An interesting stat, that — in light of the fact that NYC recorded a total of 132,565 larcenies that year. Which, by the Times’ stats, is essentially a day-and-a-half’s worth.
How could that be?
(43,247 Grand Larcenies + 89,318 = a LOT of unrecorded crimes)
Hunter, A Month Ago…
Gang, your humble narrator visited the ladies of Outnumbered a month or so ago to discuss the burgeoning Hunter Biden situation…. I visit again tomorrow, so I am posting the clip here — I feel I got the plea deal issue right…! (click below)
I am also looking forward to joining Maria Bartiromo early tomorrow over on Fox Business… please join us if you can for either/both shows! (And yes — I do feel like “one lucky guy”…).
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk!